With a horrifically uneven performance in Chicago, the Washington Capitals’ losing streak extends to five games. It’s the team’s first five-game losing streak in almost half a decade. No wonder the team’s having a players-only meeting; for the second most winning team in the NHL over the last ten years, the last two weeks have been rough.
The team’s last five-game losing streak came early in the Trotz administration, between October 26 and November 4 of 2014. The Caps lost five close games to Vancouver, Detroit, Tampa, Arizona, and Calgary before defeating Chicago with a thrilling comeback on November 7. Matt Niskanen had the game-winner.
Before that came the dark days of Adam Oates. His accursed 2013-14 season had two long losing streaks. The first came from January 12 to January 24, seven straight games, with losses to Buffalo, San Jose, Pittsburgh, Columbus, New York, Ottawa, and New Jersey. Alex Ovechkin missed two games of that slump with a bruise before returning just in time to score a lacrosse goal (look) in a streak-snapping, blowout win over the Canadiens.
That blighted year ended with a late-season swoon of five more losses between March 25 and April 4, ending the Caps’ playoff hopes (and Adam Oates’ employment). You might remember this slump as the time Oates started heel-turning on Ovechkin or the time we had to do a PSA about Voldemort. The Caps won a shootout at Nassau one day later, but the postseason was already out of reach.
Going back in time, the next long Caps slump was all the way back in 2010, when Bruce Boudrea’s Caps faced a dire slide just before Christmas. That team lost eight games between December 2 and December 18, pushing RMNB to “go dark” and pushing Boudreau to adopt the neutral-zone trap system while HBO’s cameras watched.
To find the next Caps slump, you’d have to go all the way back to 2007, before RMNB existed, back when Chris Clark was still getting twenty minutes of ice time a night. That seems like a lifetime ago to me now.
January 12 to January 20 of 2019 now joins this miserable company, and it’s not over yet. The Caps have two challenging games on back-to-back days before they adjourn for the break. This won’t end until they end it.
Game data from Hockey Reference
Headline photo: Chase Agnello-Dean
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